I'm a totally self taught doll maker. I began making dolls out of old T-shirts and all of their clothing were made from old clothing. To this day I've kept that little tradition of making my dolls out of T-shirts and all their clothing and accessories are made of old clothes and jewelry.
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Syng Kingdom is a world I created when I began making my dolls, many, many years ago-when Barbies (or plastic dolls) were the center of my life. It was the land where they came from, a place totally foreign to my other dolls. Syng Kingdom was the "land of the Rag Dolls."
My dolls are made from cotton cloth, totally from scratch, free hand with no patterns. So each doll is totally unique. I design and create all their accessories- clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses etc. I love the idea of manipulating fabric to create various human forms that are fluid and soft. I also enjoy using diverse materials to create their hair: nylon, cotton threads, human hair and synthetic hair. Their faces are embroidered and some have three dimensional lips sculpted out of fabric. I continue to develop on this concept of sculpting a three dimensional face out of cotton fabric.
For as long as I can remember I have been making dolls, sewing doll clothes and making doll houses. When I was around 6 or 7 years old, I would make dolls out of string, clothes pins, or hairpins…basically anything I could get my hands on. I began “collecting” dolls of every genre about the same time and by the time I graduated from high school I had well over 400 dolls: every type of Barbie, Jem dolls, Rose Petal, Diana Ross, G.I. Joe Wonder Woman, Michael Jackson etc. Around the time I was 9 years old, I had become accustomed to “modifying” my Barbie dolls to try to make them more flexible in their movements, using nail polish remover to take off their painted on make-up and repainting them to my taste. I was never satisfied with them. Their bodies were hard and rigid, their figures had no diversity, and their faces basically all looked the same. I was always really annoyed with the mass produced carbon copies they seemed to be. But I was especially bothered by the figures of many female dolls. Growing up, the women around me were very busty and shapely. I thought those soft, full curves made women absolutely beautiful, but it was not represented in the dolls being made. When I began making dolls, I decided that I would make ones that represent the range of womanly figures, but especially the very full, curvaceous ones that seemly are intentionally avoided by many doll makers. It makes me think about the puritanical concept that finds womanly bodies shameful, while giving the ever so slight woman’s figure an acceptable nod.
I feel compelled to create dolls that apply the beauty and sensuality which exists in a human body, in all its diverse forms. Large breasts, small breasts, slender hips, big round hips, slight figures, big round bottoms, long shapely legs, full lips, strong muscular bodies…that is just a description of some of the forms the human body can take. It is because these are forms I find beautiful, they are the forms I choose to create.